Background:I am 25 years old, 6-2 190 and fairly athletic. I played baseball and football in high school, and I played baseball in college. The only time I have ever punted a football was messing around a few times in the backyard or at a tailgate.
The question: If I start now, and do punting exercises, stretches, and drills for one hour every day for the next 7 years, will I, at the end of that time, be able to punt for an NFL team?
Reasons why it will work: Of the major professional sports, punting in the NFL seems (in my very subjective opinion) to be the least difficult for someone with no experience to be able to practice their way toward being good enough for. Playing in the NBA is out for obvious reasons. Playing in the MLB is out because, well, I played in college and didn't get drafted. So then you're left with football. All offensive and defensive positions are out. Kicking and punting are the two things where how big, fast, and strong you are (to an extent) really don't matter that much. All that matters is practicing, practicing, and hammering that one simple technique until it's flawless. Then it's a matter of building leg strength in the weight room and stretching to gain flexibiliity.
If I were to punt every day for one hour for 7 years, I would likely be able to boom them pretty darn good at the end of that 7 years. I would be 32 years old, which seems to be the NFL average age for punters. Some kicking and punting specialists stick around til they're 40 (or later, ie, Morten Andersen).
If I did this, I would research the very best punting techniques and drills and pick the brains of punting coaches and experts. I would put this advice and knowledge into practice and be extremely efficient in practicing proper technique.
Practicing said techniques every day for 7 years who help to make up for the "lost time" of not punting in high school or college.
Reasons why it won't work: Competing at the NFL level, at any position, is unrealistic in the modern era for anyone who has little or no football experience at age 25.
NFL punters have been punting their whole lives. A typical NFL punter has been punting since high school or even well before that. They have been practicing every day since they were 14 or 16 years old.
Punting every day between ages 25-32 is not the same as punting every day as a teenager. You have to acquire the skills to punt at a young age, or else the learning curve has passed you by.
Even if I could show up at an open NFL tryout booming punts 50 yards, teams will only sign a guy who has playing experience. So even if you can punt a ball as far as NFL punters, that really isn't good enough to get signed, because you are an unknown quality to the NFL teams. You have to actually punt the ball farther than most NFL punters in order to compensate for your lack of playing experience.
What do you guys think? Is it possible? Any thoughts/comments/input would be much appreciated.
Last edited by reynolds80 on Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.